This work explores additive manufacturing (AM) of concrete by using a six-axis robotic arm and its use in large-scale, autonomous concrete construction. Concrete AM uses an extrusion method to deposit concrete beads in layers to create a three-dimensional (3D) shape. This method has been found to have many uses and advantages in construction applications. The lack of formwork and autonomous nature of this manufacturing method allows for new geometries and materials to be printed in unsafe or challenging environments. Autonomous construction has been suggested as a method of creating habitats in rapid-response scenarios. This article discusses research toward one such system that could be used to rapidly construct necessary habitats in response to low-resource and emergency situations. This required addressing certain limitations of a six-axis robotic arm platform along with overcoming system challenges to achieve deliverables for NASA's "3D Printed Habitat Challenge."This included system design to increase the build volume, integrate embedding, print non-coplanar sections, and minimize travel moves to address the challenges associated with continuous extrusion of cementitious material. The system was demonstrated by printing a one-third scale habitat, which represents the first 3d-printed fully enclosed structure at an architectural scale without the use of support.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering